A friend of mine related to me his experience in having spent years in charge of software development teams. He was often asked to "just hire more developers" to deliver software sooner than the estimated time it would take to see development through. As such requests often bordered the absurd, so he told me, he would use this line -- "you can't hire 9 women to make a baby in a month" -- to make the point. He explained it to be effective in dispelling some degree of tension -- some things just take time to develop and adding more resources to hurry the process may even do more harm than good!!

I find a strong parallel here to certain arguments raised in discussions of wholesale Creationism as against slower unfolding processes of the development of our Universe. Just as my friend's years of software development have led to frequent disquietations as to the ability to achieve unrealistic goals by brute lumping of resources, so have I in my years of theological study often been asked to believe that Creationist accounts are justified by similar questioning of radiocarbon dating, the age of stars, and the constancy of the speed of light -- my parallel to my friend's software as pregnancy analogy is the baking of a cake, or perhaps a pie. An apple pie. Mmmm, pie. Yes, I do like a pie analogy (and not simply because I can make pi jokes). What I usually explain with this theme is that if a pie must be baked for sixty minutes at 400 degrees, you can't fudge the timing by baking it for six minutes at 4000 degrees!! And, you can look at a finished baked good, and if you know anything at all about baking, you can tell about how long and at what temperature it has baked from the initial mix of uncooked ingredients required to get to the point where it is at now. And let me assure you from my own experimentation on the matter, where the recipe requires an hour at 400 degrees, neither six minutes at 4000 degrees nor six hours at 40 degrees will yield anything like what you are looking to achieve by that recipe!!

Scientifically, this plays out in so many variations as to boggle the mind -- in the time it takes for species to achieve a set level of evolution by natural selection away from a common genome following a geographic split; in the time it takes for continents to drift apart from one another; in the time it takes for mountains to rise through compression folding when continents collide; and in the time it takes for rivers to carve canyons into the Earth. Unscientific arguers have many sorts of notions of how a single swift cataclysm could explain this landform or that, but these ideas are ultimately as shallow as the level of inspection required to form such a belief. Any deep and invigorating investigation into the nature of all sorts of landforms -- mountains and valleys, icebanks, glaciers, volcanic islands, continental rifts -- will show the inimitable signs of its slow and steady development over millions of years (unless it's one which really did crop up quickly, in which case the signs of quick events will abound). And in each such case, some corresponding indications will likely be discernible in the very DNA of the life occupying the land. The counterproposition of action faster than the signs of age would allow is akin to proposing cake to have been cooked for a few milliseconds at a temperature equivalent to the surface of the sun, or for a baby to have been made in a few minutes by a sufficiently large number of women.

Maximillian J Blackwood looked at the ornate ebony paneling of the elevator, his eyes tracing the elaborate scenery carved into it by the best artisans in the world. The elevator moved slowly, its motor silent. Beyond the elevator was a helicopter, also especially designed to be absolutely silent so Blackwood could sit in the hot tub of water brought from Old Faithful, and stare up at the skies with no light bothering him. He tried to do this over a place like North Dakota or Manitoba, places where if he wanted true darkness he could pay everyone below to turn off their lights, and not have to put up with the tsk tsk of his accountant for paying real money.

But today Maximillian J Blackwood, 29 year old trillionaire, had other things on his mind than the feeling of floating isolated from the world. Because despite his riches, the doctors had told him that his condition was irrevocable: he had six weeks to live. His solo spaceflight to capture diamonds out of a passing asteroid had exposed him to too much radiation. But Maximillian hadn't made his first million by 14 and his first billion by 19 because he was timid. He knew that if he must pass away, he would not do so without issue. Despite having only six weeks to live, he would live to hold his child in his arm.

The doors of the elevator slid open, revealing a room done in marble and gold, what the Pharoahs would have had if they would have had the resources to do so. Exotic plants made the observation deck of his helicopter into a lush exotic jungle. A tame tiger lulled on a rug, looking fondly at Blackwood, the man who had found it as a cub in Siberia four years ago.

And also around the room were scattered something that most men would notice before they noticed the working irridium replica of the antikythera device. Nine of the world's most exotic, erotic, beautiful, voluptuous and (most importantly for Maximillian J Blackwood) fertile women stood ready. Words escape anyone who would try to describe how elegant and gorgeous they looked. Maximillian cleared his throat, and they all stood in rapt attention, waiting for him to explain why he had called them here.

He explained about team work, how even though he was a trillionaire, he had only reached it by helping people, and by having them help him. And that when this greatest crisis came, he knew that he would have to depend on a team again, and that he was honored that they could help him. And there was some specifics, as well. And after the specifics were gone, one of the women (who was, incidentally, the first woman to win a Tony, an Oscar, a Grammy and an Emmy, all in the same year) had to ask a question. And she was quite astonished when the look of confusion came across the dashing trillionaire's face. The other women tried to keep straight faces.

Because it turned out that Maximillian J Blackwood, the first man to go not over, but up Niagara Falls in a barrel, the man who had cloned Wooley Mammoths and bought the Kamchakta peninsula so they could have a place to roam, and the man who had given his Olympic Gold Metal in the shotput to the runner-up, feeling that he (Blackwood) had an unfair advantage in being able to train for the event on the moon, had missed certain experiences on his way to the top. That in short, Maximillian J Blackwood was not only the world's youngest and only trillionaire, he was a virgin who seemed to have skipped health class to invent a cure for cancer the day they covered the Facts of Life. And it was up to those nine women, the most beautiful in the world, to explain to the confused demigod that was Maximillian J Blackwood that you can't hire 9 women to make a baby in a month.

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